Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health

Annual Report 2020-21 Overview: About the agency

Our purpose is to provide strategic leadership and advice on excellence and innovation in healthcare.

Back to the 2020-21 Annual Report

Overview: about the agency

Our strategic focus

Our Purpose

To provide strategic leadership and advice on excellence and innovation in healthcare.

We partner with consumers, carers, the wider community and the health workforce to improve care and safety, monitor performance, and champion evidence-based practice to improve health outcomes.

Our Vision

Together, let's create better healthcare for South Australians.

Our Values

Our values are the way we do things:

  • Treat people with compassion, honesty and respect
  • Strive for excellence in everything we do
  • Celebrate our successes, and the successes of others
  • Celebrate diversity of people and thinking
  • Learn from failure and actively seek feedback
  • Be responsive and adaptive
  • Believe innovation comes from continuous learning and diversity of all kinds.

Our functions and objectives

Our core functions:

  • Consumer and Clinical Partnerships
  • Clinical Informatics
  • Human Centred Design and Innovation
  • Office of the Commissioner

Our objectives:

  • Clinicians have easy access to the insights, data and tools they need to provide the best care
  • Excellent health outcomes and experiences for consumers, their families and carers
  • A culture of innovation that unlocks potential and connects people to turn ideas into action
We work as one team to:
  • Build Capability – we create opportunities for people to learn new skills and support the mindsets that allow
    innovation to happen.
  • Provide Advice and Support – we provide advice on collaboration and engagement, data and analytics, improvement science, health system design, research translation, horizon scanning and innovation.
  • Partner and Connect – we bring people together to solve problems. Connecting clinicians, consumers and the
    community so they collaborate and learn from each other.
  • Drive Innovation, Excellence and Best Practice – we think big and look for creative solutions that place South Australia as a global leader in health.

Our Deliverables

Key Deliverables in 2020-21:

  • Establish a further four clinical networks
  • Implement a Data and Analytics Roadmap with SA Health
  • Implement a strategy to support consumers and clinicians in their mutual engagement capability
  • Hold a SA Vision 2030 Conference on artificial intelligence and machine learning and robotics
  • Rollout of the Pandemic Kindness Program
  • Hold the first SA Human Centred Design Boot Camp
  • Establishment of Communities of Interest
  • Hold the first South Australian Knowledge Sharing Clinical Showcase on Excellence and Innovation
  • Rollout of a Digital Improvement Toolkit to assist innovation and improvement practitioners.

Our organisational structure

Changes to the agency

During 2020-21 the following changes occurred to the agency’s structure and objectives:

  • Professor Paddy Phillips, inaugural Commissioner, retired in December 2020. The incoming Commissioner, Professor Derek Chew, commenced on 1 March 2021.
  • Following commencement of the new Commissioner, an internal review was undertaken of the CEIH Boards and Committees structure and functions. Recommendations were made to restructure the function and advisory component of the committees. The new structure will be effective as from 1 July 2021.
  • In May 2021, the Clinical Improvement and Innovation Directorate was merged with Human Centred Design, creating the Human Centred Design and Innovation Directorate which reduced the number of SAES positions by 1 FTE. There were no changes to CEIH objectives and key deliverables in relation to improvement and innovation.

Our Minister

Hon Stephen Wade MLC is the Minister for Health and Wellbeing in South Australia.

The Minister oversees health, wellbeing, mental health, ageing well, substance abuse and suicide prevention through the three government agencies of DHW, Wellbeing SA and the CEIH.

Our Executive team

Professor Derek Chew

Appointed as Commissioner on 1 March 2021. Professor Chew is a cardiologist and health systems researcher. He has a MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, and his PhD thesis explored the factors for improving heart attack care in Australia. Prior to joining the Commission, he led the Heart and Vascular program of the SAHMRI and co-led the lifelong Health Theme and was the Network Director of Cardiology for the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network. He has had several roles in clinical guideline development and continues to contribute to federal efforts to improve cardiovascular care and outcome.

Katie Billing
Executive Director, Consumer and Clinical Partnerships

The Consumer and Clinical Partnerships directorate is focused on developing systems to build and nurture the relationships between clinicians, communities, consumers and carers and others who work in the health system. These partnerships help improve experiences, foster innovation and ultimately lead to better health outcomes.

Jarrard O'Brien
Executive Director, Human-Centred Design

The Human Centred Design and Innovation Directorate is focussed on putting people at the centre of everything we do. It provides knowledge and advice to build capability in design thinking, improvement, and innovation for a more compassionate and innovative health system.

Tina Hardin
Executive Director, Clinical Informatics

The Clinical Informatics Directorate focusses on improving how data and analytics are used to improve healthcare, building capability in clinical informatics and providing better access to data across the health system to inform the creation of better health care.


The Clinical Advisory Council is the peak advisory body to the CEIH and supports the development of the CEIH vision and purpose in alignment with statewide health priorities and community expectations. The Council provides advice, insight and support to the CEIH on current and future programs of work.

The Clinical Informatics Advisory Group is a resource for the health system through our Clinical Informatics Directorate team to help solve ‘wicked problems’,
share ideas and identify opportunities, barriers and gaps from a data and analytics led approach. The Group brings expertise and knowledge from across disciplines inside and outside of health, including (but not limited to) artificial intelligence/machine learning, data models, research translation, mobile applications,
standards and design, governance, insights and visualisation, user experience/interface, health systems and digital health.

The Clinical Improvement and Innovation Advisory Group is a diverse team of improvement and innovation experts who guide our strategy and priorities. It brings in targeted expertise and consumer representation to help establish a strong network of clinical innovation across South Australia.

The Clinical Network Executive Group brings together the Leads from the Statewide Clinical Networks with South Australia’s professional leads and key executives from SA Health. This connection shares knowledge, fosters collaboration and forms relationships across agencies to deliver better healthcare with minimal bureaucracy.

The Community of Consumers is a dynamic group of healthcare consumers who have expressed interest in the work of the CEIH. At their request, a closed Facebook group was created as an online environment where members can stay informed about our work or can opt to participate in various projects and activities.

Statewide Clinical Networks

Statewide Clinical Networks are groups of health professionals, health service organisations, consumers and carers who work collaboratively with the goal of
high-quality care. They operate across the continuum of care, across private and public sectors and across all Local Health Networks.

Eight Statewide Clinical Networks have been established and these are detailed below along with their goals.

The Statewide Cancer Clinical Network aims to improve health outcomes for all South Australians affected by cancer by:

  • Focusing on compassionate and equitable care.
  • Working in collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders across the entire cancer continuum.
  • Building on latest evidence to drive excellence and innovation.
  • Driving improvements in safety, quality and patient experience.
  • Providing strategic expertise and advice on cancer care.

The Statewide Cardiology Clinical Network aims to improve cardiology services for the South Australian community through:

  • Ensuring equitable access to comprehensive, evidence based cardiovascular care, aimed at reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease.
  • Developing a multidisciplinary, highly skilled, inclusive workforce delivering best possible outcomes.
  • Using comprehensive, high quality data to assist service planning and drive continuous quality improvement.
  • Innovating in and implementing new or improved models of patient-focused care.
  • Supporting a connected and engaged workforce that is responsive to patient needs and deliver high quality care, teaching and research at all levels.

The Statewide Palliative Care Clinical Network aims to improve access, equity and care to South Australians requiring palliative care services by:

  • Increasing awareness of advanced care planning and bereavement services.
  • Developing better health literacy in the community.
  • Collaborating to improve data collection.
  • Collaborating to create a Palliative Care Plan for South Australia

The Statewide Urgent Care Clinical Network is committed to supporting urgent, unplanned, non‑life threatening care by:

  • Championing clinically appropriate care at the right place in the right timeframeLinking consumers with appropriate hospital alternative services
  • Improving access to urgent care for consumers aged over 75, those suffering from mental health emergencies and people living in rural areas who require
    services in metro areas
  • Collaborating to augment models of Urgent Care in South Australia

The Statewide Chronic Pain Clinical Network aims to:

  • Foster improved recognition and understating of chronic pain and its effective management in the community
  • Foster systems development to enable transparent sharing of data which can support cross-sector service design, delivery and collaboration
  • Support improvements in community, primary health and hospital settings to ensure timely access to evidence informed care for all South Australians living
    with pain
  • Build an integrated Community of Practice that optimises the experience and outcomes of chronic pain management.

The Statewide Adolescent Transition Care Clinical Network is committed to supporting young people to access care which:

  • Meets their needs
  • Empowers them to have an ongoing say in its development and evaluation
  • Is easily accessible
  • Is continuously improving
  • Is seamless across all providers of healthcare

The network aims to:

  • Improve access to services
  • Provide seamless transition, quality and delivery of care to young people
  • Ensure young people are part of the system and design
  • Improve quality

The Statewide Surgical and Perioperative Care Clinical Network aims to improve the surgical experience and outcomes for all South Australians by:

  • Ensuring equitable access
  • Appropriateness and efficiency across their surgical journey
  • Decrease the requirement for surgical services

The Clinical Genomics Statewide Network aims for the South Australian genomics community to work together to provide the best possible health care for South Australians by:

  • Delivering high quality care for people through a person-centred approach to genomics
  • Workforce: building a skilled workforce that is literate in genomics
  • Finance and infrastructure: ensuring sustainable and strategic investment in cost-effective genomics
  • Services: maximising quality, safety and clinical utility of genomics in health care
  • Data: responsible collection, storage, use and management of genomic data
  • Innovation: establish innovative projects that put South Australia at the forefront of genomics

Legislation administered by the agency


Department for Health and Wellbeing

Wellbeing SA

South Australian Ambulance Service

Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network

Central Adelaide Local Health Network

Eyre and Far North Local Health Network

Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network

Limestone Coast Local Health Network

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network

Women’s and Children’s Health Network

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network

Read about the agency's performance.

Download Annual Report (7 MB, PDF)